Erika steadily weakening

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:43 PM GMT on September 03, 2009

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Tropical Storm Erika has weakened steadily this afternoon, and has not generated any sustained winds of tropical storm force (39 mph) at any weather stations in the Lesser Antilles Islands today, according to our wundermap for the region. Erika has dumped some heavy rain on the islands, with 8.03" of rain measured on Dominica over the past two days. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and have thus far found top winds of 36 mph at the surface and at their flight level of 1000 feet. Radar animations out of Martinique show that the areal coverage and intensity of rain echoes has diminished greatly since this morning, and IR satellite loops also show a major decrease in heavy thunderstorm activity. Visible satellite images (Figure 1) show that the low-level center has become exposed to view, and there is very little heavy thunderstorm activity near Erika's center. Erika is probably just a tropical depression now.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Erika showing the exposed swirl of its low-level center southeast of Puerto Rico.

The forecast for Erika
Erika is headed west, in defiance of most of the computer models that predicted a northwest or west-northwest track. Regardless, Erika's track will take the storm into a band of significantly higher wind shear of 25 - 35 knots, Friday through Saturday. Considering that Erika is steadily weakening and is barely alive now, the storm should dissipate by Saturday, and perhaps much sooner. Erika's remains will still be capable of dumping very heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches over the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, and 1 - 3 inches over Haiti and the Southeast Bahamas over the next few days. However, the recent decrease of Erika's heavy thunderstorms makes lower rainfall totals more probable. By Monday, when the remains of Erika should have penetrated through the band of high wind shear over the Greater Antilles, shear may fall low enough to allow redevelopment. This is a scenario offered by the NOGAPS and GFS models. The other models predict quite a bit more shear in the region, and I believe any redevelopment of Erika early next week is unlikely. The GFDL and HWRF models continue to insist that Erika will head northwest, brush off the high shear, and intensify into a Category 2 hurricane five days from now.

McAfee virus alert messages
A number of wunderground users with the McAfee virus protection software installed were alerted yesterday that a possible Trojan virus existed on our web pages. After an investigation of the issue, we have determined that this is a false alarm. It appears McAfee updated their virus files yesterday, and included in their list of suspected viruses JavaScript web pages that compressed using the packer compression system used by wunderground. We've changed the compression technique used on our web pages, and hopefully this will eliminate the bogus McAfee alert messages.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
A large, strong tropical wave with plenty of spin emerged from the coast of Africa this morning. The wave is not yet generating much in the way of heavy thunderstorms, but has the potential to gradually develop into a tropical depression by early next week. NHC is giving this wave a low (less than 30% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. The GFS model continues to predict development of this wave into a tropical depression early next week.

I'll have an update Friday.

Jeff Masters

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Erica looks like she's swimming in one of those Endless Pools like you see in the commercials on TV.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting serialteg:
Give up on the models, seriously.

Especially with Erika.


Seriously, don't look at them, move on to the next post.
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Quoting FLGatorCaneNut:
Wow, 6 days till the peak of cane season and nothing out there worth mentioning. Interesting, very interesting.



Be more interesting towards the end of the month, as the positive MJO comes around again.

Though something off Africa could always swirl about a bit in the meantime, or a low off a stalled front.

The usual suspects.
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I know, I love it.

You Go Wind Shear and El Nino
and Dry Saraha Dust!!!

So far my predictions are on target.

I predicted last spring,
NO Hurricanes to hit the CONUS coast
this season!

(maybe a ts but no hurricanes)
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Quoting seflagamma:


Thank you so much.
I guess I didn't see it 2 posts above.


"if she stays where she is in the Caribbean, she's cornered in a box of nails and what awaits is an abyss."

Now that's what I wanted to hear!


It's been the Year of the Shear so far.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Wow, 6 days till the peak of cane season and nothing out there worth mentioning. Interesting, very interesting.

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Quoting Cotillion:


Even if you make the playoffs... We'll enjoy knocking you out. Again. ;)



Noooo, it's our turn.. it has been a bad 15 years for us.. we need to "feel" what it is like to be a playoff team again!

plus I just bought a brand new and very stylish Miami Dolphin Tee Shirt this week, ready for the first game!
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More interested to see what happens tomorrow, after it passes Puerto Rico.
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Quoting serialteg:


Just 2 posts up...



Thank you so much.
I guess I didn't see it 2 posts above.


"if she stays where she is in the Caribbean, she's cornered in a box of nails and what awaits is an abyss."

Now that's what I wanted to hear!
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Quoting mikatnight:


Sorry Taz. Didn't mean to get on your bad side. I'll be quiet now...



lol you dont need to be quiet
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114024
Give up on the models, seriously.

Especially with Erika.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting seflagamma:


What do you mean?
When was the last time our Miami Dolphins went 4 - 0 in preseason?
Last time we won 3 in preseason we were in playoffs..
was our last 4 - 0 our "perfect season" ????
I have no idea but it feels so good to have a chance at a great season!

Go Dolphins!!!


now for my weather post.
this blob is still not pulling northward like the models indicate.. this blob, aka Erika, still seems to be moving WSW...

is there still plenty of shear out there so it doesn't sneak up and redevelope on us???

will check back for answers.

Good morning!
Happy Friday!
Gams


Even if you make the playoffs... We'll enjoy knocking you out. Again. ;)
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Quoting mikatnight:
#1420
Yeah, but we got a long way to go seflagamma - not only the toughest schedule in the NFL this year, but the toughest schedule of any NFL team since 2003…


Fetch you a blankie?

Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
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Erika's will most def. be dead soon yellow circle and all. No way she is going to make it through shear, land interaction, and D-min. By this late afternoon/evening there won't even be a circulation(of any level) out there.
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Erika is one weird storm, I see the remnant low around 17.2N/68.5W Moving more W-WNW and another more prominent "spin" around 16/66 moving W-WSW, I wonder if this is the beginning of a "split". I give up on Erika.
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SHIPS for the low formally known as Erika indicates shear from the northwest at 32 knots.
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Quoting seflagamma:


is there still plenty of shear out there so it doesn't sneak up and redevelope on us???

will check back for answers.

Good morning!
Happy Friday!
Gams


Just 2 posts up...

Quoting serialteg:


Erika's best chance is to move north, but low level steering is sending her west, as would most normal waves. Up north shear is conducive. If she stays where she is in the Caribbean, she's cornered in a box of nails and what awaits is an abyss.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
#1420
Yeah, but we got a long way to go seflagamma - not only the toughest schedule in the NFL this year, but the toughest schedule of any NFL team since 2003…
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Here's a live cam feed of the southeast Puerto Rico. Pigeons usually make a star appearance in front of the cam. Surf looks small, but believe me, the cam's far away and there is at least 5ft faces in nearby spots. That's why there are 35 surfers in the water. There are also North facing cams.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting mikatnight:
Guess I%u2019m just feelin%u2019 froggy since the Dolphins beat the Saints last night to go undefeated in the preseason %u2013 which of course don%u2019t mean squat%u2026


What do you mean?
When was the last time our Miami Dolphins went 4 - 0 in preseason?
Last time we won 3 in preseason we were in playoffs..
was our last 4 - 0 our "perfect season" ????
I have no idea but it feels so good to have a chance at a great season!

Go Dolphins!!!


now for my weather post.
this blob is still not pulling northward like the models indicate.. this blob, aka Erika, still seems to be moving WSW...

is there still plenty of shear out there so it doesn't sneak up and redevelope on us???

will check back for answers.

Good morning!
Happy Friday!
Gams
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1419. MahFL
Ex Erika seems to be moveing just north a touch north of due West.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting mikatnight:
Guess I’m just feelin’ froggy since the Dolphins beat the Saints last night to go undefeated in the preseason – which of course don’t mean squat…


Packers played very good offense, still not convinced about the D though... didn't catch any games yesterday, PR is involved in FIBA America Basketball Championships and we went against Argentina (with Scola, no Ginobili). Lost by 2.

Erika's best chance is to move north, but low level steering is sending her west, as would most normal waves. Up north shear is conducive. If she stays where she is in the Caribbean, she's cornered in a box of nails and what awaits is an abyss.

I know...
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1417. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Current 12Z update on the low formally kown as Erika.


AL 06 2009090412 BEST 0 173N 677W 25 1010 LO


I see it now on visible. Shear affecting it, obviously.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Current 12Z update on the low formally kown as Erika.


AL 06 2009090412 BEST 0 173N 677W 25 1010 LO
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Quoting viequessun:
she is moving or stall? coming to us or not ?


watch pr radar

Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1413. RJT185
Quoting kachina:


LOL they're probably starting already.


ruh roh, maybe once we get more predictable (better organized) systems rolling they'll feel vindicated.
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Good Morning....Wow....The Artist Formerly Known as Erika is trying to make a comeback record.
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Quoting Tazmanian:


do you most keep saying that ??? you said the same thing 2 other times


Sorry Taz. Didn't mean to get on your bad side. I'll be quiet now...
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1410. kachina
Quoting RJT185:
lol ... the models will need a drink once ms. erika is gone.


LOL they're probably starting already.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Hope quikscat catches it this am


QuikScat is currently out of service. There was an "anomaly" yesterday and they are still recovering from it.
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Quoting mikatnight:
RIP: Remnants Instigating Pontification…


do you most keep saying that ??? you said the same thing 2 other times
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114024
1407. shfr173
It appears to be headed SW again and getting its act together?
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she is moving or stall? coming to us or not ?
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1405. RJT185
Even the NHC won't let go. It's like watching Titanic.


This is the storm that never end,
Yes, it goes on and on, my friend.
Some people started RIP'ing it, not knowing what it was,
and they'll continue tracking it forever just because...(repeat Ad Infinitum)
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RIP: Remnants Instigating Pontification…
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1403. IKE
From the San Juan morning discussion...BOTH THE GFS AND NAM MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGEST THE REFORMATION OF A
CYCLONIC CIRCULATION NORTH OF PUERTO RICO BY SUNDAY...WITH BOTH STILL
SUGGESTING CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS OF MOISTURE TO LIFT ACROSS THE AREA
TODAY THROUGH AT LEAST SATURDAY.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1402. bwat
Poor Erika, now just a yellow crayon mark.
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Waaaw a nice convention.
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1400. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
612 AM AST FRI SEP 4 2009


.DISCUSSION...
A BROAD LOW TO MID LEVEL CIRCULATION APPARENT BETWEEN THE NORTHERN
LEEWARDS AND THE ISLAND OF SAINT CROIX...ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOW
PRESSURE CENTER/REMNANTS OF THE DOWNGRADED DEPRESSION ERIKA...
HAS CONTINUED TO ENHANCE SHOWERS AND PRODUCE INTENSE THUNDERSTORM
ACTIVITY EARLY THIS MORNING ACROSS THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN. EXPECT
ADDITIONAL SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE REGION
LATER IN THE DAY AIDED BY AN UPPER LEVEL DIFFLUENCE PATTERN...
DAYTIME HEATING...AN LOCAL TERRAIN EFFECTS.

BOTH THE GFS AND NAM MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGEST THE REFORMATION OF A
CYCLONIC CIRCULATION NORTH OF PUERTO RICO BY SUNDAY...WITH BOTH STILL
SUGGESTING CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS OF MOISTURE TO LIFT ACROSS THE AREA
TODAY THROUGH AT LEAST SATURDAY. THE POSSIBILITY OF REDEVELOPMENT
OF A SURFACE LOW AND THE CONTINUED PRESENCE OF STRONG CONVECTION
ACROSS THE LEEWARDS AND THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN...AS WELL AS
THE LARGE TONGUE OF PWAT/MOISTURE STRETCHING ACROSS THE EASTERN
CARIBBEAN IS SUFFICIENT TO MAINTAIN FLASH FLOOD POTENTIAL AT LEAST
THROUGH SATURDAY. THEREFORE FLASH FLOOD WATCH WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT
THROUGH AT LEAST SATURDAY EVENING...AND WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR
TO SEE HOW THE FEATURE MOVING ACROSS THE REGION UNFOLDS.

DEEP MOISTURE IS STILL HOWEVER EXPECTED TO SLOWLY FILTER IN ACROSS
THE REGION TRAILING THE ABOVE MENTIONED LOW TO MID LEVEL CIRCULATION
OF THIS COMPLEX SYSTEM...AND WILL LIKELY LINGER ACROSS THE REGION
THROUGH SATURDAY...FOLLOWED BY A SLIGHTLY DRIER TREND BEGINNING ON
SUNDAY. HOWEVER...SUFFICIENT LOW LEVEL MOISTURE WILL BE AVAILABLE
ON SUNDAY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF NOCTURNAL AND DIURNAL CONVECTION
ACROSS THE EAST COASTAL AREAS AND WEST INTERIOR SECTIONS OF PUERTO
RICO RESPECTIVELY...AS WELL AS PARTS OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
RIP: Rain In Puerto Rico...
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Quoting reedzone:


I'm only 20 and a half years old.


I remember when I used to count half and quarter years... :)

Mornin, doing my assesment. I was awoken by surfers gleaming about great surf from Erika, and it sure looks that way on live cams. Since yesterday afternoon.

Current conditions in Ponce PR - overcast / grey skies, maybe some light rain has occurred, very light winds at the moment. Friends in the east coast have told me they experienced thunder earlier in the AM.

Some rain is headed our way at the moment, and there looks to be a lot of it on our south. As expected, she did her best in Dmax.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1397. RJT185

Quoting mikatnight:
RIP: Really Interesting Phenomenon


True Story.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.